Ring of Honor’s hostage crisis isn’t over — not by a long shot. Public Enemy No. 1 Kevin Steen retained his ROH World Championship on Sunday at “Best in the World 2012,” beating Davey Richards in a wild, violent affair to cap off an extremely entertaining night of matches that saw three championships defended.
“Best in the World 2012: Hostage Crisis” emanated from New York City and was headlined by a “Border Wars” rematch when “Wrestling’s Worst Nightmare” Kevin Steen defended his Ring of Honor World Championship against “American Wolf” Davey Richards in an anything goes match with a 60-minute time limit.
With Steve Corino at ringside for color commentary, Jim Cornette came down to keep his eye on Corino.
Following the introductions, Kyle O’Reilly comes down and talks about why he’s not in Richards’ corner tonight. He says it’s because Richards isn’t happy with how his match with Adam Cole went. He says he’s not here to stab Richards in the back, he’s here to stab him in the f—— eye. He goes on a profanity-laced tirade against Richards and then takes off.
Right off the bell Richards kicks Steen off the apron and through the timekeeper’s table but Steen fires back by power bombing Richards onto the apron. Steen starts ripping off the ROH metal banners off the barricade, throwing them on Richards and then frog splashing RIchards from the apron.
They go back in the ring and Steen goes for a swanton bomb but Richards gets his knees up. Richards goes for a kick but Steen counters by lifting him to the apron and hitting a draping DDT that sends Richards’ mouth guard flying. Then brawl some more and Richards hits Steen with an exploder suplex on the apron.
Richards goes under the ring and grabs a table. He loads Steen on it on the floor. Richards goes to the top turnbuckle and double stomps Steen through the table. Richards throws Steen in the ring and hits another double stomp from the top for a two count. Richards goes back outside and throws four chairs into the ring. Richards goes to hit Steen but Steen blocks it and hits a Codebreaker with the chair between the knees and face. He puts Richards in the corner and puts and chair on him and comes flying in with a cannonball.
Steen puts all the chairs on Richards and goes to the top but Richards cuts him off and superplexes him onto the chairs. He’s slow to make a cover and Steen kicks out at two. Richards pulls another table from under the ring and sets it up near the corner. He puts Steen on the top turnbuckle and wants to suplex him through the table but Steen bites his face and hits a modified Musclebuster through the table. He’s slow to cover, as well, and Richards kicks out at two.
Steen sets up two chairs next to each other but Steen counters him and hits a German suplex through them. Richards grabs the chain that was in the ring and starts choking Steen with it for a moment. Instead of continuing, though, he wraps the chain around his foot and starts kicking Steen right in the head with it. Steen spits right in his face and Richards unloads some more but Steen kicks out. Disgusted, Richards kicks referee Todd Sinclair. He’s out.
Richards grabs a ladder from under the ring but Steen grabs him and hits an F5. Referee Paul Turner is out, but not fast enough and Richards kicks out at two. In response, Steen hits a package piledriver on him.
Richards kicks Steen and hits a double underhook slam right onto the ladder but there is no referee in sight. Richards goes out and drags Sinclair back into the ring. Richards sets the ladder up in the corner when Jimmy Jacobs comes up and hops on Richards. Richards fights him off but Jacobs pulls the spike out. Cornette grabs it from him but turns around right into a low blow from Corino.
Jacobs has the spike but Richards hits an exploder suplex onto the ladder on him. Now Richards has the spike but Steen also has one. Steen hits Richards in the midsection with it and follows with the package piledriver and that does it. Kevin Steen retains the ROH World Championship.
After the match, Corino grabs the microphone and announces Steen as still being world champion. Steen gets the mic and says this night is special because he’s been waiting a long time to stand in this building as ROH World Champion. He says he cannot stand hypocritical people in wrestling and Cornette is one of the biggest ones. He tells Richards that for the last 18 months, he’s been a hypocrite so he could get into a match with Richards. He tells Richards that all the things he said about Richards being an undeserving champion wasn’t true. He puts Richards over as the best in the world. He says the biggest hypocrites chose not to acknowledge Steen as such and says that’s the crowd, who are the biggest hypocrites in pro wrestling.
He talks about his journey back and how this crowd chants for Bryan Danielson and CM Punk, who he says don’t even remember the company. Steen says the crowd loves turning on world champions, like Nigel McGuinness, Tyler Black and Davey Richards. He says he doesn’t care about the people because he got what he wanted and now he’s going to be the last ROH World Champion because he, Corino and Jacobs are going to kill the company.
The next Ring of Honor iPPV is “Death Before Dishonor X” on Sept. 15.
“Best in the World 2012: Hostage Crisis” is live from Hammerstein Ballroom in Manhattan. Kevin Kelly and former ROH World Champion Niguel McGuinness are our hosts.
In the opening match, The Briscoe Brothers defeated The Guardians of Truth.
Match #2 – “Die Hard” Eddie Edwards (Boston, Mass.) vs. Homicide (New York City)
Edwards with a Boston Knee Party and then a crossface but Homicide made it to the ropes for earn a break. Homicide responds with an inverted atomic drop and a tornado DDT. Homicide counters Edwards and hits an Ace Crusher but Edwards kicks out at two. Homicide with a lariat right to the back of the neck. Edwards catches him with a super kick but Homicide turns around and hits a big lariat that turns Edwards inside-out.
Homicide wants the Gringo Killer but Edwards slips out and is able to catch Edwards with the half crab. Homicide turns it over and kicks Edwards away. Edwards comes back and Homicide catches him in a small package for two. Homicide with an elbow to Edwards’ bad arm and he follows with the Gringo Killer and that does it.
Winner via pinfall: Homicide
Match Rating: 6/10
Match #3 – Hybrid Fighting Rules – Kyle O’Reilly (St. Louis, Mo.) vs. Adam Cole (Panama City Beach, Fla.)
O’Reilly is nursing a left knee injury suffered in his training with Davey Richards and Cole makes no mistake in going right after that. O’Reilly, though, is able to catch Cole with an armbar but Cole manages a rope break.
Cole starts to get going but now he is nursing that arm after O’Reilly kept working on it. They hit each other with double big boots and then start slugging it out in the centre of the ring. Then O’Reilly starts throwing kicks and busts Cole’s mouth up more than it was and we see his two front teeth drop to the canvas!!! Unbelievable.
They trade more kicks and both are down and get up at nine, beating the 10 count. O’Reilly hits a Saito suplex. These two are going back-and-forth. Crowd starts booing and the athletic commission doctor makes his way to the ring. Cole looks right at him and tells him he’s not stopping it. He turns around and O’Reilly hops right into a guillotine choke. Cole, though, picks him up and slams him on his knee.
Cole is up and absolutely levels O’Reilly with a superkick, sending him to the floor. Cole gains a foul by going out after him and throws him in the ring. O’Reilly is stumbling all around but grabs an armbar. Cole pulls out and they trade holds. Cole is able to find his way into a Figure Four Leg Lock and O’Reilly taps!
Winner via submission: Adam Cole
Match Rating: 9/10
Cole goes for a handshake after the match but O’Reilly slaps him in the face.
Match #4 – Fit Finlay (Belfast, Northern Ireland) vs. Michael Elgin (Toronto, Ontario)
A lot of mat wrestling in this one as you would expect. Not a lot of heat for this one, however. Elgin drills Finlay with a lariat and Finlay takes a walk after that one only to hit Elgin with one of his own on the floor. Finlay drops Elgin across the barricade. Finlay in complete control here.
The crowd giving this no love, as some are chanting “boring” while others are chanting at them to “shut the f— up.” This is a ground-based battle with really not much happening. Finlay knocks Elgin off the top to the floor and Elgin is holding his knee. Finlay brings him back in the ring and hits a rolling senton for two. He hits the Celtic Cross but Elgin kicks out at two. Now Finlay wants a Tombstone and he hits it but Elgin again kicks out at two. He pulls Elgin to his feet and Elgin power bombs Finlay into the corner and then hits the spinning sit-out power bomb and that does it.
Winner via pinfall: Michael Elgin
Match Rating: 5/10
Truth Martini comes down to celebrate after Elgin told him to stay away. He’s obnoxious about it. Finlay wants to shake hands and Martini tells him no, but Elgin shoves Martini aside and does it.
Following intermission, Mike Bennett, Maria and Bob Evans and this is a Prodigy Service Announcement. He says he should only be wrestling in title matches and he is better than the best. He says he’s going back to Boston and then he and Maria engage in a makeout session.
Mike Mondo comes out and says he’s from New York and Bennett’s full of s—. He goes on a profanity-laced promo, noting that after he fights Bennett, he’s going to defile poor little Maria. He goes after Bennett until Brutal Bob pulls him out. He goes after Brutal Bob outside until Bennett spinebusts him onto the ring apron.
So I guess this is a fight with a referee in the ring? I really have no clue what is going on here. Mondo is wrestling in jorts while Bennett is in blue jeans. Ummm, then Bennett gets in his face and Mondo small packages him. I had no idea what that was.
Match #5 – Three-Way Elimination Match for the ROH World Television Championship: (c) Roderick Strong (Tampa, Fla.) vs. Tommaso Ciampa (Palermo, Sicily) vs. Jay Lethal (Elizabeth, NJ)
Lethal and Ciampa start brawling right off the bell. Princess Mia hits Lethal with a super kick on the apron and Ciampa follows with three straight knees to the head in the corner.
Ciampa takes control, hitting an electric chair on Strong, followed with a German suplex with a bridge for two. He goes over to Lethal and bites his forehead and starts chopping away. He wants a running knee but Lethal kicks him in the chest, but Ciampa hits Lethal with a knee to the face. Strong comes flying in and throws Ciampa out of the ring and goes to work on Lethal. Strong plasters Lethal with a dropkick for two.
Strong starts chopping Lethal and they start exchanging knife-edge chops. Ciampa comes back in and gets caught eating chops between then. Lethal with a back-spring elbow on Ciampa and the Lethal Combination on Strong. Lethal with a tornado DDT on Ciampa and then then Figure Four Leg Lock on Strong. Then Lethal grabs Ciampa and puts him in a crossface at the same time. Strong pokes Lethal in the eyes and breaks the holds.
Lethal and Strong go at it and both are down. Ciampa sees the opening and goes to the top and hits a flying elbow drop for two. Ciampa wants to load Lethal up but gets hit in the head with a knee from Strong. Lethal kicks Strong in return. Lethal puts Ciampa on the top turnbuckle but Ciampa fights him off. Strong, though, hits Lethal and then goes and hits a big superplex on Ciampa.
With both men down, Lethal goes to the top and hits his flying elbow drop on Ciampa for two. Lethal goes to the outside and Truth Martini wants to hit him with the book but he ducks. Now the Embassy comes running in. Ciampa wants the Project Ciampa on Strong but Prince Nana comes in the ring looking to get away and takes out Ciampa’s legs and Strong pins him.
Tommaso Ciampa eliminated
Lethal back in and he wants the hand-spring, but Martini hits him with the Book of Truth behind the referee’s back. Strong grabs Lethal and hits him with double knee spinebuster and that does it.
Winner via pinfall and STILL ROH World Television Champion: Roderick Strong
Match Rating: 7/10
Match #6 – ROH World Tag Team Championship – (c) Charlie Haas (Dallas, Texas) & Shelton Benjamin (Orangeburg, S.C.) vs. Kenny King (Las Vegas, Nevada) & Rhett Titus (The Jersey Shores)
All Night Express in control early, but some nefarious double teaming from Wrestling’s Great Tag Team turns the tides. Haas puts King in the tree of woe and puts the boots to him before delving a big knee. Benjamin with a gutbuster on King and Titus has to come in and break the fall up. Haas and Benjamin go for a double suplex, but King is able to turn the momentum and DDT them both.
King makes the tag to Titus and he comes in on fire. He dropkicks Haas and clotheslines both of them. Knee to the gut, kick to the head and a bulldog for Titus and then a big clothesline hits on Benjamin for two. It all breaks down after Titus hits Benjamin with a modified snake eyes. Haas sends King into orbit with a release German.
WGTT gets moving and Haas hits Titus with an Olympic Slam and Benjamin makes the cover for two. On the outside, King throws a chair into Benjamin and he gets into an argument with the ref about it because if WGTT get disqualified, they lose the titles. King distracts the referee and Titus DDT’s Benjamin on the chair and he barely kicks out.
Outside, King throws Haas into the barricade. King in and he hits a spinning flip dive onto Haas. Titus wants to do the same but Benjamin catches up to him. Benjamin smashes Titus into the barricade. Now Benjamin grabs the title belt and Haas takes the referee. Benjamin hits Titus with the belt. Benjamin smashes Titus into the timekeepers table and Titus is busted open from the belt shot.
Match back under control and contained in the ring. Haas throwing strikes at the bloodied Titus. He lands a big boot to the head. The referee checking on Titus as Benjamin comes in. DDT lands on Titus. WGTT in total control of the hurt Titus. Haas grabs a microphone and tells the referee to call the match or they’re going to kill this piece of crap. Titus demands the match isn’t stopped. Haas pounds away and takes him into their corner. They go for their signature double team, the Leap of Faith, but are really gloating. Benjamin goes to take off but King wipes him out. In the confusion, Titus rolls Haas up and gets him!
Winners via pinfall and NEW ROH World Tag Team Champions: Rhett Titus & Kenny King
Match Rating: 7/10
ANX starts celebrating outside the ring but Haas and Benjamin attack. Benjamin absolutely kills King by throwing him into the barricade. So much for that celebration.
Match #7 – Anything Goes Match for the ROH World Championship – (c) Kevin Steen (Marieville, Quebec) vs. Davey Richards (Othello, Wash.)
Winner via pinfall and STILL ROH World Champion: Kevin Steen
Match Rating: 9/10
Event Rating: 9/10